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Exercise #172 : Ending

A short story begins with these two lines:
Sometimes, out on the boat, she wanted to tell Louise. 
This was before Louise got the tattoo on her shoulder.
Write the last paragraph of the story.

For my purposes, this "she" is going to go by the name of Eleanor.

1,2,3, GO!

It had been a trying year, with money gained, friends lost, and then money lost. The question that lingered on both of their minds was if, in the end, it had been worth it. For Eleanor, her growth was obviously visible. She was coming into her own, forming into the person she had always wanted to be, and life seemed to be heading down the right track. Finally, things were looking up.

And all Louise had to show for it was that damned tattoo.


I finished this one on well under 5 minutes, but I feel like I got my point across. Plus, the exercise only asked for a single paragraph, right? As far as I'm concerned, I'm good to go here.

Moving on...

As if last week couldn't have gotten any better, Summer from over at My Inner Fairy extended the "One Lovely Blog" Award, and I just about died. :) Yay! Thanks so much, Summer!

The rules require me to pick 15 other blogs that I have just come to know in the recent past, and, being that I've recently garnered quite a few more blogs to add to my blog reading list, I'm going to take the rest of this week and the weekend to wade through them all and pick 15 of them that are deserving. It's going to be so hard only picking 15! I may fudge and pick a few more than that... Shh... Don't tell!

So what did you guys come up with for this exercise? I'm absolutely loving all of your submissions to the "Make It Up Monday" contest. My family and I are going to have an incredibly difficult time picking out a winner. Keep it up, though! I love that you're getting involved with my posts and sharing with me. It's what writing is all about, after all!

In other news, school starts tomorrow. Hip hip huzzah for it being my last year as an undergrad student! That being said, however, my amount of posts may decrease to 3-5 times per week instead of daily because of schoolwork and rehearsals for the fall opera (I have a lead role!!), but don't expect that to start right away. The fall semester always tends to take a couple of weeks to get going. I'm only taking 14 hours which is lovely, considering that in previous semesters I've taken no less than 18 (once over 20!). And honestly 4 of those hours don't really count, because I'm taking beginning French this semester.

For those of you who don't know already, I speak French. Perhaps not fluently, but I am definitely capable of maneuvering my way around Paris without the aid of a guide or a French-to-English dictionary. I could have taken an advanced class, but... meh. I need an easy class this semester, because I'm taking a few others that are going to be taxing. For example, one class named Form & Analysis (dubbed F'n'A) is all about the analysis of scores ranging from sonatas to concertos, etc... Aka this class is evil in learning form.

Don't get me wrong. I love learning. I absolutely adore sitting in a comfy chair and garnering all of the information possible from a book or person. But there's just something about music theory that makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon. 

Lord, give me strength!

Well, I'm off! Must get some shut eye before my 9am class tomorrow.



VetTekky said…
Haha, I came across your page and was planning on telling you about NaNoWriMo, but you are clearly already a participant. I can't wait for this year. Got me a good one brewin'. Anyway, keep in touch, let me know how your NaNoing is going when the time comes. Good luck!
Heidi said…
F'n'A seems rather appropriate. School doesn't start for another two weeks for me, but I'm definitely looking forward to it! Second year, though... so mostly I'm excited I don't have to take easy intro classes haha.

Great ending, by the way. Loved the last line.
Pustekuchen said…
Oh dear ! I was so determined to find a nice ending for this lovely beginning but my mind seems to be blocked. When I was younger I used to write so much and now I just don't feel inspired anymore or don't feel like it (maybe 'cause I write too many e-mails?). But this is how I came across your blog. I would like to take up writing again. Maybe I'll feel inspired next time :)
Finally Eleanor could take it no longer, all the cards, letters, thankyou notes that Louise had given her. Many a time she thought to correct her. But how do you tell someone that they have been spelling your name wrongly? especially after she gets it tatooed on her arm!
UnCheyned said…
Hello, Stef! I found your blog through Blog of Note and have enjoyed getting caught up. I hope you don't mind if I live vicariously through your blog posts! (I was a vocal performance major at a small liberal arts college in Georgia way back when. Unfortanately, I put off grad school and then never went back because I decided I wouldn't be able to support myself. Things work out the way they do and I'm happily married with a beautiful son now, but I always kind of wonder, 'what if?') Congrats on your lead in the fall opera! You are welcome to check out my attempt at blogging at
Laura Camp said…
Good luck with your senior year! I have to disagree about Form and Analysis, though. I don't know what it's like at your school, but I adore music theory. It's so... I don't know what it is, but it strikes me as logical, and somewhat like life, in that there are rules a composer is supposed to follow, but the drama, the excitement happens when he breaks them. Large forms (sonatas/concertos) are even more fun than basic chord analysis; it's like you finally get to move away from analyzing plot content and toward the more interesting topics of theme, author's motive, etc. I realize that I am rambling here-- sorry. Best of luck, and I'm really enjoying your blog!
And so the voyage ended. Somehow, she had retained a semblance of sanity. As for Louise, well, she had the tattoo and the tattoo artist for whatever that was worth.

All I ever learned in French was 'Je suis desole pour je suis en retarde madame' and I'm not even sure about that any more!

Luck with the music theory. COUNT!
lingamoorthi said…
உங்க படைப்பு மிக நன்றாக உள்ளது
wow supper
A.K.A. Humidity said…
Sometimes, out on the boat, she wanted to tell Louise.
This was before Louise got the tattoo on her shoulder. She wanted to tell Louise about the trip was thinking about taking next summer, but for some reason Eleanor could not take her eyes off of the tattoo on her shoulder. Finally Eleanor spoke out, "Why did you want a tattoo? Louise smiled as she replied, "Well I don't really know why. I just wanted to do something that I could be proud about, and this tattoo reminds me of a dear friend to me. Eleanop paused for a moment and said; Wait I'm you're only friend? Louises' laughter echoed over the lake as she took Eleanor by the hand and spoke; Yes! you are my best friend and I know you better then you know yourself. I know that you been thinking of moving next summer to fullfill your dream of becoming a journalist. So I got this tattoo for you as my way of saying I love you and to let you know that I will always be thinking of you. Eleanor could not hold back the tears as she graded Louise and spoke 3 little words Louises' ear, "I Love You........"
Anne said…
Heyy, Im new to blogger. I came across your blog and I happen to like it a good bit, since I am an English major I guess it would make sense that I do. If you get a chance look at my blog. I'm working on an article that id like to get published, and im using blogs as my primary source of research.
Sara said…
My first day of school is tomorrow, as well! I'm starting my Junior year and will be graduating in a year and a half. Isn't it odd how soon graduating is? We're almost adults, which is terrifying! Congratulations on your role in the opera! That is very exciting. I am an English major and have lots of Shakespeare and literature to look forward to this semester. I auditioned for choir yesterday, so hopefully I will hear good news. I have been active in choir for a very long time. Much like writing, there is something very beautiful and therapeutic about singing. I know you'll be busy, just like I will be, but please keep blogging. I enjoy reading your posts! Good luck this semester!
Ms. Maggie '46 said…
Eleanor dragged herself up onto the rocks, wet and worn out from the long swim to shore. In the distance she could see the boat, still burning. She looked through squinted eyes to see if there was another head bobbing in the water, another woman headed for the safety of the rocks. She saw nothing but water and the slowly sinking hull. The explosion had left little of the craft intact.
"Selfish to the end," she thought. "All of this time I was admiring her courage, her purpose. I wish I had known how angry and lonely she was. I might have told her a long time ago."
Hello, hello! I am an excited new comer to your blog. I am an avid writer myself, having something close to an epic battle with writer's block, and I've been looking for something like this to help me out of my seemingly inescapable funk! I'm happy to have found you! So, here it goes...

She wanted to tell her of the late nights out on the bayou (some in this very boat), filled with stars and lust and sweat. She wanted to tell her of every bad decision, of every moment that should be a regret (but somehow never could be), of every indescretion with the man who wasn't hers. She longed to unleash, to cry out, to scream at the top of her lungs this secret that had been burning inside her troubled mind for far too long! Mostly, though, she wanted redemption; to beg for forgiveness. But looking at her now, dreamy eyed and smiling as the early morning sun cast its glow upon her newly decorated shoulder blade, Maggie knew she could never tell Lousie the truth. She knew her closest friend could never be told of the deceit attached to the name now forever etched upon her body.
Edlund said…
I find your blog quite interesting.
Serena said…
Hey there stef, came accross your blog from the noted blogs was very glad that i did!
You gave me some great ideas, and gave me a very pleasent kick up the butt to keep me thinking that yes i can do it, i can reach my goal.
Hope that you dont mind mentioned you in my last post! pop a long and have a look at I see you see from your truly.
Dionne said…
I love these little exercises. Been trying to get back into writing and your blog offers wonderful little tools of inspiration. ;)

Here goes (continuing with the name Eleanor):

So many times she had thought of telling Louise about Mitch. Now it was too late, if only she had said something when she first found out. Or even later after Louise had tattooed his name onto her shoulder. If she had just said it then she could have saved their friendship and Louise's future.

But now Louise was married to a terrible man and Elenore had lost the closest friend she ever had.

By the way congrats on the award!
RSA Certificate said…
Gosh see now I'm curious and want to hear the rest of the story (yes I know there isn't any 'rest' but still) :D
Letty said…
Sometimes, out on the boat, she wanted to tell Louise.
This was before Louise got the tattoo on her shoulder. Getting a tattoo was a massive commitment, and unlike marriage it was irreversible. She felt the words ‘Leave him, he’s mental’ would be empty to the woman who had his name emblazoned on her flesh.
Teddi said…
Congrats on the blog award.
I really love reading all of these writing assignments. I think they are fantastic and can definitely help you become a better writer. I recently saw an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert (the author of Eat, Pray, Love) and she was saying that the only sure way to becoming a better writer is practicing, practicing, practicing. She said to write about anything, at any time throughout the day... I think that's the approach you're taking! Also, I watched your music videos on youtube and am quite impressed. You have a gorgeous voice. Seems like you have a bit too much talent, my dear!
Alessandra said…
Hey there, I guess you're going to make a writer out of this science teacher sooner or later....Ok, here it goes:

She wanted to tell Louise, the real family secret, that the woman she had always called auntie Thelma was really her mother. But Eleanor had promised to her own mother, that she would bring the secret to the grave. And when Louise sported that awful tattoo, Eleanor knew her step-sister did not need another shock to rock her already confused, chaotic, dangerously close to crime young life. Besides, now that auntie Thelma had passed, there was no reason to bring out old skeletons.
Rachael Melody said…
Can't post on this right now - looks like fun, though! I wanted to make a response to the Monday one, but I don't think that's even going to happen *sighs*
I did want to let you know that I've altered my blog you're following to reflect more than I'd originally intended. Hope you like it!
You should know that I despise time zones. Sitting in far off Chennai, I cannot read and think asap. So this is me, commenting from my office [I should be filing a story, but this is more fun! =)]. So here's my paragraph, for what it's worth...
Music theory? Lead in a opera? How fun it all sounds...
Since shameless plugs are allowed I'm @ (don't post as often as I'd like to, but I try...)

"With the afternoon unravelling all around her, Elanor didn’t think there was anything left to lose. Now, in the middle of the lake, was as good a time and place as any to confess the truth, what did she have left to lose? After years of mulling, Eleanor decided to tell Louise – they were not sisters. But as Louise rolled up her sleeve, Eleanor decided to not tell her after all, what good would it do? The tattoo, it seemed, looked like a bigger testament to their relationship than the truth…"
Unknown said…
"Sometimes, out on the boat, she wanted to tell Louise.
This was before Louise got the tattoo on her shoulder."

She walked away from the boat knowing that she would never see Louise again. People used to refer to the two of them as Thelma and Louise; that was when they were inseparable. She just knew that Louise could never get over herself enough to accept that her best friend was going to have a baby. That tattoo was a major indicator that Louise could never let her be a straight woman in a heterosexual relationship... it is better that Louisa never know.

Okay, so that is my very first of your writing exercises! Kind of fun! And, I can say I got a little creative writing in at the same time!

Good luck with school! I love to learn as well, but there are some of those classes that just seem to be a pointless waist of time and money.

Oh, and congrats on your lead role in an opera! I love opera, and would love to see it! Break a leg! ha!
Barri said…
Guy Duperreault said…

Through her summer browned bare feet that were pressed against the balcony rails, and through the rough wood's uneven gaps, her eyes rested without blinking on the small wooden boat roped to the dock. There wasn't a whisper of wind, and the boat was as still as the water was flat. She sipped the strong, but now less than hot coffee as she rocked on the back two legs of the deck chair. The rain was so soft it was invisible, making it oddly no-where and everywhere at the same time. Her loose summer clothes and hair were already damp. The loon's call echoed in her heart Louise's absence, even as the poorly stowed oars avowed her presence. And the tattoo. That mute, dumb, dumbing tattoo!
Anonymous said…
This is such a cool idea for a blog!! It's also a great way of developing writing skills, which is the same motivation as me for joining blogger. Very impressed. Best of luck with everything.
Diandra said…
"The boat was softly rocking on the lake, and the dragonflies flitting over the surface looked like sparkling spirits. The raw patch of skin on Louise's skin had finally started to heal. She inhaled, tasted the last crumbs of summer, and felt sadness descend upon her shoulders."

That was too tempting. Now I only have to find out what happened inbetween. A #FridayFlash, maybe?
Yvonne said…
Sometimes, out on the boat, she wanted to tell Louise.
This was before Louise got the tattoo on her shoulder.

But now it was too late. Louise was gone. I remember when she told me she was thinking of getting one. We argued about it, "You're too young!" I said. She shot back, "I'm sixteen! I can make my own decisions!" My daughter, a mirror of myself. Strong, opinionated and determined. "I'm prouf of you baby. I alwas have been, even though you don't think so." Sadly, Louise never got to hear those words. She died in a car accident a few days after our argument and her "tatoo excursion".

Write the last paragraph of the story.
"The turmoil in Eleanors heart was as ferocious as the waves smashing the boat, as they drifted further in their state of stilted communication. She never meant to hurt Louise, she never meant to use her own confusion as a weapon to imbalance the security she had once offered unconsitionally. But her decision to take her in her arms, her assurances of a love ever after to conquer a history of judgement and polarisation was based solely on a scepticism of love as designed by a greater god. Eleanor couldn't escape the feelings of uncertainity, of confusion, and above all, the feelings of guilt that mirrored the waves crashing over the bow of the fragile boat. The fragility echoed Louise, looking and hoping with anxious wide eyes. Eleanor could not deny her mistake, her previous belief that she could embrace the relationship and forget the normality of the heterosexual cocoon she once inhabited. She couldn't weather the storm of judgement, she couldn't commit to a life of labels. Yet the tattoo on Louise's shoulder, the careful calligraphy inscription that spelt the name of Eleanor, was poignantly permanent and irreversible. Eleanor drew a deep breath and consigned herself to a life of lies."
Foodie_99 said…
You are an excellent writer, keep it up!

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